My but this is taking a while! Here, in VERY rough from, is my time-line of key events in my attempt to get myself to Africa:
End of August, 2006: Applied
Two days closer to the end of August, 2006: Peace Corps calls me for an interview
Early September, 2006: Interview
Middle of September, 2006: My recruiter calls me–he’s going to nominate me to serve! In Africa! Doing HIV/AIDS Prevention work! How do I feel about Portuguese?
Two days after that, 2006: Scratch that—how do I feel about French?
End of September, 2006: Officially nominated by some people in Washington DC who have never met me.
March 1st, 2007: Peace Corps officially receives my Medical Packet. (Note: This part of the process took forever for me, for a number of reasons. One, I needed to wait until January to see a couple of the doctors for insurance reasons. Two, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving until the following September, so there wasn’t a lot of reason to rush.)
May 1st, 2007: I call the PC Medical Office and ask them to pretty please medically clear me. They say they will do what they can, but that it could be another 30-45 days! I attempt to exercise patience, and also not to use curse words while still on the phone.
May 26th, 2007: Peace Corps sends me a letter, explaining that they need more information regarding a mole I had removed, and documentation that I’ve been immunized against polio. Yeesh.
June 6th, 2007: I faxed PC all the stuff they wanted. Twice, because the first time I left off the last page. Its good to showcase your organizational skills at times like these.
June 7th, 2007: I HAVE BEEN MEDICALLY CLEARED!!! Hallelujah! I called to see if they had gotten my fax, and it would appear that they did! Next step, placement.
June 11th, 2007: I call the Africa Placement Desk, partially to be ‘pro-active’, but mostly because I don’t really have much of that patience I’ve been bragging about. A rather snarky young man confirmed the tentative process I asked him about, basically agreeing that my file will in fact be given to a placement office at some point in the near future and they would be contacting me then. He also asked for more information regarding my French class, where I volunteered, and the HIV/AIDS courses I took in the fall. I sent him everything about 15 minutes after we spoke.
June 12th, 2007, 11:05AM: I get a call from a LOVELY woman who tells me that I have been invited to join the Peace Corps! I leave September 19th. HOLY SHIT. So my life is in the mail right now. God Speed Mr. or Mrs. Mail Person, God Speed.
June 15th, 2007: No mother effing package OMG this might kill me.
June 16th, 2007: Cameroon! I’m going to Cameroon!